"This is a story of an urban success. Where you've got pioneers like tom who was here in the valley in 1988," said Barrett, "Who are investing here because they realize that this is a great place to do business."
Badger Railing President Tom Mulhanui remembers what it was like as one of the few businesses on the 60 acres early on.
"Looking out I could see tumbleweeds and cattle grazing in front of my desk," said Mulhanui.
As a business that's been in the valley for nearly 30 years, Mulhanui says the 15-year-long effort to re-develop the area was worth the wait. He says what the valley has become is something he believed it could have been all along.
However, bikers Richard and Barbara Prodehl initially couldn't envision what they're seeing today.
Richard says growing up all he could see were train tracks, big building, eventually empty. The area was lifeless.
But bikers, hikers, and walkers use the trails to head to work, a Brewers game, or just get out and exercise.
"This is family friendly, it's safe. We can ride these corridors between the west side and the downtown area," said Prodehl.
The Menomonee Valley Industrial Center is complete 11 businesses and over 1,400 employees. But Barrett says Menomonee Valley's east side has waterfront properties they're trying to sell.